RACHEL BELLE

Women in the beer industry find community with Pink Boots Society

Nov 15, 2016, 5:30 PM | Updated: Nov 16, 2016, 12:51 pm
Haley Keller, co-owner of Peddler Brewing Company in Ballard (Photo by Rachel Belle)
(Photo by Rachel Belle)

Seattle is most definitely a beer city. It’s the reason Jen Nicosia moved here from Chicago.

“I did, in 2014 to brew beer and get into the scene. The water here was good, the hops are obviously here, a lot of grain is soured here.”

Nicosia is a brewer and a beertender at Lowercase Brewing in south Seattle. She’s also a member of the Seattle chapter of the Pink Boots Society, a network of women who work in the beer industry.

“I really wanted to get connected with women in the beer business,” said Haley Keller, co-owner of Ballard’s Peddler Brewing Company. “There are women in the beer business but there are definitely more men than women.”

Keller is responsible for starting a Pink Boots Society chapter in Seattle.

“Our back of house and operations staff, I’m the only female,” Keller said. “So I’m surrounded by guys all day, which is wonderful! But it would be nice to have women, as well, in my life, especially professionally. I think there is just a culture of sharing that is more present with women than with men, sometimes. Maybe feeling intimidated to talk to guys about [the industry]. There seems to be a lot of the old men who have been in the business a long time, are really good friends and chatting it up. But to break into that might be a little bit hard.”

Keller says about 50 women show up to each quarterly Pink Boots Society meeting, and there’s an always an educational aspect.

“Various speakers who are women in the beer industry. The most recent one, we had a lady from a malting company come and talk about their process of malting. We had someone talk about how hops are grown, how you order them. Then we had a lady who works in marketing for beer. So we try to do things that professionally help us but also grow our knowledge in beer and the beer industry.”

Sibyl Perkins, a home brewer, does web and graphic design for craft breweries and tries to direct her clients away from marketing specifically to men.

“The big beer companies, all of their marketing and advertising is very much male directed, fairly sexist, and tends to perpetuate the stereotype that men are the ones who like beer; women like wine and coolers and things like that,” Perkins said. “I think there has been a lot of conscious effort within the craft beer industry to kind of dispel that, because there are so many women, especially young women, who are beer aficionados. I think the marketing and advertising side of things is more gender neutral than the big beer companies are.”

How did beer become such a male dominated industry? Nicosia has her theory:

“During the industrial revolution it was a big thing for working men to gather and drink beer at the end of their work day. Women weren’t necessarily going out to bars, they were definitely at home more. I think that might be where it spun off. You have your grandpa who used to brew beer in the garage and he taught his son and his son’s son. It kind of perpetuates from there.”

Pink Boots Society also provides scholarships to women in the beer industry, so they can take classes, travel to places like Germany to study beer brewing or maybe even become a cicerone.

  • listen to rachel belleTune in to KIRO Newsradio on weekdays to hear Rachel Belle.
Who is Rachel Belle?

Your Last Meal

Rachel Belle

Owner Sophia Walker believes in fitness AND doughnuts. (Photo courtesy of Sophia Walker)...
Rachel Belle

Seattle’s No Judgement Fitness is a safe space for the LGBTQ community to workout

No Judgement Fitness is mirror free and focuses on body positivity, not weight loss. 
3 days ago
(Brooke Lark/Unsplash)...
Rachel Belle

New LinkedIn data shows more women are promoted to manager in Seattle than any other city

Women in Seattle are 80% more likely than the national average to advance to manager. 
5 days ago
Marsha and Matt Owen opened Skein & Tipple, in Clinton, last Tuesday. (Photo by Rachel Belle)...
Rachel Belle

Skein and Tipple: Whidbey Island’s newest craft cocktail bar is also a yarn store

Yarn up front, cocktails in back! When the liquor control board told the owners they must have live entertainment, they cooked up Tuesday Knit Night. 
10 days ago
Irene Crawford (left) looks at Beatles memorabilia in her little sister Barbara Horn’s scrapbook....
Rachel Belle

Seattle sisters saw the Beatles in 1964, return to the same venue tonight to see Paul McCartney

Barbara Horn and Irene Crawford reminisce about seeing Beatles at Seattle Center in 1964.
13 days ago
(Photo by Ingrid Barrentine, courtesy of Alaska Airlines)...
Rachel Belle

Alaska Airlines is the first US carrier to introduce gender neutral uniforms

Alaska Airlines' new policy gives also all employees permission to wear makeup, earrings, fingernail polish, and gender-neutral uniforms.
19 days ago
(Palle Knudsen / Unsplash)...
Rachel Belle

Fewer pills, more parks: More doctors are prescribing nature to patients

Non-profit programs in the US and Canada encourage doctors to sign on and prescribe their patients time spent outside or, for some, more time at a sunny window. 
20 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Women in the beer industry find community with Pink Boots Society